It’s 2019 and more people have better access to more information than at any point in human history. And yet, billions of people still do not have access to the life-changing – and life-saving – services that they need and deserve. The 26 richest people in the world own more wealth than the poorest half of the humanity. More than half the world’s governments are actively restricting our rights to hold them accountable. There has never been more wealth in the world, and yet access to it – and to power – has rarely been so limited. And it comes at a time when our planet is facing a climate crisis and we are fast approaching the point of no return. Oxfam works across many of the most challenging issues of our time. Danny Sriskjandarajah has experienced these issues first-hand and is now the Chief Executive of Oxfam Great Britain. In discussion with Paul van Zyl, Danny addresses the critical role that Oxfam – and many others – must play in order to create a fairer, safer world. Danny Sriskandarajah joined Oxfam GB as Chief Executive in January 2019. He was born in Sri Lanka in the 1970s and was initially raised in a rural community without electricity or running water. His family was displaced by the onset of a brutal civil war and Danny spent time in Papua New Guinea and Australia, where he went to school and university. Danny moved to the UK in 1998 and completed his Masters and Doctorate in international development at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, with the focus of his doctoral thesis being ‘Development, inequality and conflict’. The contrast between the wealth and opportunity of life in the global north with his early years in rural Sri Lanka has given Danny a life-long passion to take on the root causes of poverty.
Paul van Zyl was the Executive Secretary of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He co-founded the International Centre for Transitional Justice, and The Conduit, a home for those committed to improving the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx